Saying officers of the Chicago Police Department fabricated evidence and covered up facts in order to protect “the entire Daley dynasty,” attorneys for Nanci Koschman filed a civil rights lawsuit in Federal District court.
Defendants include Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, her predecessor Richard Devine, 21 former or current members of the Chicago Police Department, including two former Superintendents, as well as “Daley family members.”
David Koschman, 21, died from a single punch in 2004, thrown by R.J. Vanecko, the nephew of former Mayor Daley.
The 44-page lawsuit asks for damages but does not specify an amount.
“Nanci Koschman was misled, she was deceived,” said attorney Locke Bowman of the MacArthur Justice Center, who is representing Nanci Koschman.
Last month Vanecko pled guilty to a single count of involuntary manslaughter, only after being charged by Special Prosecutor Dan Webb.
Koschman’s attorneys said the initial 2004 investigation began and ended in a matter of hours, once it became clear R.J. Vanecko was involved.
“Higher-ups in the police department were saying “holy crap, the mayor’s nephew may be involved,” said Bowman.
“From the moment that CPD commanders learned of Vanecko’s involvement” the lawsuit contends, “the Chicago Police Department’s handling of the case, as well as that of other agencies…became an official cover-up.”
“They were so busy trying to cover-up their mistakes they forgot my son was a real person,” Nanci Koschman said speaking to a bank of microphones and cameras.
According to the lawsuit video from cameras along Division Street, where the punch was thrown, went unchecked.
Detectives “set out fabricating evidence” to make David Koschman appear to be the aggressor.
And that police and prosecutors destroyed and altered evidence in “sham investigations” in 2004 and in a 2011 reinvestigation.
According to attorney Flint Taylor of the People’s Law Office, who also represents Nanci Koschman, “There was a concerted conspiracy to protect a Daley family member from criminal prosecution, from civil liability and to protect the entire Daley dynasty and family, in particularly the mayor of the city of Chicago from political embarrassment.”
Koschman’s attorneys admit there is a lot they still don’t know but will wield the subpoena power they now hold.
“And we will strive to put the mayor and people in his family under oath and to be strenuously questioned about what happened on those first few hours in those first few days,” said Taylor.
The federal lawsuit is one more step in Nanci Koschman’s journey to find answers about her son’s death.
“There should be something done so that another person who gets hit somebody famous doesn’t have to suffer like I’ve had to suffer,” she said.
Chicago Corporation Counsel Steve Patton released a statement saying in part, "We are deeply sympathetic to Mres. Koschman...and commend the work done by speical Presecutor Dan Webb and Inspector General Joe Ferguson...but unfortunately we cannot comment on the speficis of what is now pending litigation."
Former State's Attorney Richard Devine had no comment saying he had not had time to fully read the lawsuit. There has been no response from the office of Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alavarez.